b -10. Burial.
(This next part of Scripture is a solemn warning. Never promise the Holy Spirit something and then almost immediately, without any change of circumstance, change your mind and not fulfill your oath. Don't try to con God. He knows what your thinking. Below is a type of the unforgivable sin. See Luke 12:10.)
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife,
(Names of grace and beauty attached to persons whose principles were bad. Note that Satan does this also.)
sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it,
(I.e. they planned it.)
and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said,
(Peter didn't know this, the Holy Spirit informed him.)
"Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
(These two, Ananias and Sapphira promised that they would give a set amount, but they changed their mind after making the commitment. This vow was to the Holy Spirit, and they promised that they would give the sale price of the property to the Lord's Word, then after the sale, they held back some of the money. Notice that the vow was to the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, not to men.)
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing
(Conceived = did put, implying careful deliberation, not sudden temptation.)
in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
(He didn't have to say it if he didn't mean it. Your dealing with vow had nothing to do with men, but it was wholly between God and you, what has caused you to lie to God?)
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the spirit:
(= expired. Only here, v.10; 12:23. A medical word. This gives another thumb print Acts was written by Luke, a medical doctor. Gr. ekpneŰ. Cp. Mark 15:37.)
and great fear
(Compare "great grace", "great power", in 4:33)
came on all them that heard these things.
(After the people that witnessed this thing, and saw Ananias dying right before their eyes, they had to take a closer look of what commitments they were making to God. It becomes a little more difficult to get converts after this. The Holy Spirit got the message across, "Don't mess with the Holy Spirit of God." Don't lie to the Father, He knows your every thought as you think it. Then the Holy Spirit can give the unction to a pastor or a man, such as Peter was at this time, and the thing is known. The only one that becomes fooled in your lies to God, is you. It is Satan that can tempt you by the old spirit of greed.
Greed can really bind you up. Those second thoughts of ownership, once you have committed something to God or a ministry, can come upon you in temptation by Satan, and your bold mind turns to mush. If you promise a certain thing to the Father, then make sure that you stick to that promise. However today there are many rip-off artist that play games with God's people to make them create vows to them in the Lords name. When you make a vow to them, that vow is not to God, and when that ministry goes against God's Word, then whatever vow you made is a commitment against the work of God. Be careful what ministry, or person you make commitments to, that you follow through with for you could be in much trouble before the Lord. You pay God to where ever the true word of God is given you from.
Remember in God's eyes, when you earn your money, it is yours to do what you want to with it. What you give to the Lord in tithe, you will be blessed with, from Him, and He knows the intent of your giving. If it takes some pastor to jar you lose of your coins, or some gimmick, then there is no blessing that comes from it, if it isn't given freely. A beggar is a beggar regardless if he is at the city gate, or in a congregation, and the blessings given to each are the same.)
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after,
(= as it were an interval. Another medical word, Gr. diastÍma. 3 hours = 1 watch. Be on guard on your watch) when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, "Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?" And she said, "Yea, for so much."
(She repeated the false price. They were probably figuring that the price was far less then it actually sold for, and they changed their minds when they got the money.)
9 Then Peter said unto her, "How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out."
(It is so silly to think that you can fool God; when you do that, you are only fooling yourself. God knows you every thought, so why even try. That is why only God can judge you, and man can't, for only God knows your very intent of the acts you do. This is the example that is being set forth here, so that the others will see what will happen.)
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the spirit: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
(Never put your trust in earthly things. God is as firm today as He was here.)
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
12-42. Among the People.
12-21-. Apostle's Activities.
-21-42. Ruler's Opposition.
12-21-. Apostle's Activities.
-12. In the Temple.
17,18. In prison.
21-. In the Temple.
12 And by
(= through. By the Holy Spirit. The apostles didn't do the healing.)
the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them:
(The un-believers ran.)
but the people magnified them.
(According to Josephus [Ant.xx.9,ß7], this was a relic from Solomon's temple. See 3:11.
We know absolutely that it was not the hands of the Apostles that caused these signs and wonders, but it was the Holy Spirit that they were filled with. The Holy Spirit did the works through the hands of the Apostles, not by the hands of the Apostles. Don't ever try to con God.
It is a real pity to see ministers say, The Holy Spirit told me to say such and such," when all the time it came from their own deceiving minds. Don't lie about the Spirit, you had better be telling the truth. If you continue doing it, God will shame you.
Why were they on Solomon's porch? Solomon's porch is a place where the Gentiles could even come and meet. The working of the Holy Spirit is beginning to spread, and the message of Christ's redeeming blood is reaching out and touching Gentiles.)
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
(It was not normal at the time of this writing for women to attend service. In Christianity they were.
When people see the working of the Holy Spirit and the power that our Father gives us, when we belong to Him, it draws those that are believers to the church. So with the teachings of Peter, the church continues to grow as the Holy Spirit leads.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
(The foolish ones would believe that the very shadow of Peter is what healed the sick. If you start believing that, then you are no different than Ananias and Sapphira. It wasn't Peter's but that they wanted to be near Peter when He passed by. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the power of healing comes from the Holy Spirit.
Christ Himself, when filled with the Holy Spirit and when passing by the sick, would cause those He passed to be healed. When they believed, they were healed. It is God that does the healing. Don't try to take anything away from God, and be very careful when you do or say that the Holy Spirit told you to do anything. Except for the fact when the Holy Spirit really does. Non-believers just cannot handle it when you say that the Holy Spirit told you something, when just plain common sense would say the same thing. That is what is called showmenship, it doesn't belong in the house of God.
Handle the Word of God with dignity, and handle the Holy Spirit also with dignity in your manners and speech. Show your love and respect of what you say about God, and His Word.)
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits:
(= demons or evil spirit-beings.)
and they were healed every one.
(Cp. Luke 5:15. God tests His servants. It wasn't Peter that brought it to pass, it was the Holy Spirit. This was no fluke, or circus. This was the real thing!)
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,)
(Yahshua, Jesus, was opposed by the Pharisees. Now the opponents are the Sadducees, because of their hatred of the truth of the resurrection, of which the Apostles were a witness.)
and were filled with indignation,
(Gr. zÍlos. Envy. They were schooled in their theology. They were mocking the Apostle's and calling their religion a fake.)
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors,
(He didn't bring them through the walls. God will always protect. This now is a type for our end generation.)
and brought them forth, and said,
20 "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."
(The life through resurrection so bitterly opposed by the Sadducees. Cp. 13:26.)
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.
(This is the next morning, and the council that is being called is in the Sanhedrin, not the temple. This is the place for business of the community and the political matters dealing with people. As these town and temple officials sat down for the council meeting, they asked for the apostles to be brought in. The object of calling the meeting of the Sanhedrin was to get the apostles to leave town. So they sent the guards to get them out of the prison.)
-21-42. Rulers Opposition.
-21-23. Apostles sent for.
26,27-. Apostles brought.
29-32. Apostle's Answer.
33. Murders Design.
34. Apostles excluded.
35-39. Wise counsel.
40-42. Apostles released.
But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together,
(= the Sanhedren, the supreme national court.)
and all the senate
(= assembly of elders.)
of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came,
(= attendants, the Temple guards.)
and found them not in the prison, they returned and told,
23 Saying, "The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within."
(The Holy Spirit had put a slumber on them.
This is no big thing for God when He is in control, but the thing for us to remember is that God is in control, and God takes care of His own. These Sadducees were trying to touch God's anointed. This is a type of our generation, and what shall happen to those when this presence of the Holy Spirit, which is the same Spirit that was with them on Pentecost day.)
24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple
(= officers of the Levitical Temple guards. Cp. Jer.20:1.)
and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
(Don't forget that this "high priest" was not appointed by God, but he was appointed by a Roman governor. Those religious leaders started to worry and wonder just how far this uprising would grow. They threw them in jail and still that didn't seem to slow the Apostles down, now here they are right down in our temple teaching this same doctrine.
From that day forth, that doctrine has never been stopped either. The leaven of Christianity has grown and spread through out the entire world.)
25 Then came one and told them, saying, "Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people."
(What a slap on the face for these men of the Sanhedrin. Not only did they just walk out of prison, with all the security and guards, but no they are even teaching their doctrines in the temple. This was just to much for these self-righteous, pompous religious leaders. So we see that the church has now moved from the jail house to the temple.)
26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
(Why? The Apostles had done nothing but good. The Holy Spirit, through these sent ones, the apostles, had healed many of their loved ones, fathers, mothers, sisters and so on that even had the death sentence of illness upon many of them. It all started with this young man that was lame from birth, and the Holy Spirit healed him, and this started a consuming fire by the Holy Spirit, that by now, even the Sanhedrin could not shut down.
The point is this, when you are doing God's Word with the obvious evidence of the gift of the Holy Spirit present in you; such as a gifted teacher. Nobody messes with that person much because they would lose. Any verbal battle would be between the Holy Spirit and them, and those aggressors would lose. When you obey God, God takes care of you. These guards did not touch a hair on the elect (of Gods) heads, for fear of the multitude of people that would stone them for mishandling the apostles.)
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, "Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood upon us."
(This chief priest is really throwing his power around. With a religious person like this, it is like a puff of air. Just over two months earlier, it was this same pack of Kenites that sat in Judgment of Jesus Christ, in this same room, as they plotted to murder Jesus, and bring their liars in to bear false witness against Him.
Keep in mind also that the doctrine that Peter and John were teaching was the same doctrine that Jesus had taught. Now this chief priest is saying, you have taken this doctrine right into the temple given that doctrine of Jesus Christ. Did you notice what is really at the bottom of this fight? "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood upon us." They know that they were the ones that brought about the crucifixion, they bribed Judas, and paid the thirty pieces of silver of the the crucifixion. What did he expect? This chief priest is as guilty or more so than Judas ever was, at least Judas repented and threw back the silver to them.
Judas' sin was against our Lord Jesus Christ, and his betrayal, for which he had time in the flesh to repent of those sins, which he did. We discussed this in the Acts 1, who these same chief priests and Sadducees murdered Judas, and ripped him open. Before long many Christians' blood will be upon their hands, but they still will not change their hearts.
Are you starting to see the lying and deceiving bunch that these religious leaders were. They were all part of the pack of Kenites that had assumed the roles of the Levitical priesthood, and changed God's laws to their traditions. After all this was the chief priest, and he had to put up a front for the rest of the leaders sitting there.
Our Heavenly Father will protect these apostles, and the true word will bring out the guilty one in the end, every time. God takes care of His own.)
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey God rather than men.
(Everything comes to pass as God declares. Why would you want to listen to man?)
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince
(= Leader: One Who stands at the Head of Beginning of a list, or rank.)
and a Saviour, for to give repentance
(= a real change of mind and attitude toward sin itself, and the cause of it [not merely the consequences of it], which affects the whole life and not merely a single act. It has been defined as a change in our principle of action from what is by nature the exact opposite.)
to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
(To everyone who asks and believes.)
32 And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey Him."
(You that are sent today by God, are still witnesses of these things. We have the credentials of one that carries the Holy Spirit here. God gives the Holy Spirit, and to have the Holy Spirit their is a condition given here; "to them that obey Him." Just repenting is not sufficient to obey God, but after your repentance you must obey all His Word. You must first desire to know that Word, and then to follow what God Has instructed you to do.
You will not be able to obey each letter of the Word, man in the flesh simply can't, but upon repentance all is forgiven when you fall short of the glory of God. Friend, you must continually try every day of your life, and that is why we must repent daily, when we realize that we have sinned. Then God give to us His Holy Spirit.
Within that Holy Spirit are the gifts, and there are many. They are the gift of teaching, pastoring, prayer, giving, and so forth, but before you can have any of these gifts, you must obey God. When you try to achieve the Holy Hpirit any other way, you have another Ananias and Sapphira, somebody trying to con God. Somebody lying to themselves and to God, and before God, it just doesn't work. They are false prophets and false teachers that say God spoke to me, when God said nothing to them. Be aware of them, for they will speak of things that the Word of God does not back-up.)
33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
(This is your religious community, regardless what time you are in. The head churchmen plotting to kill Peter and John, as well as anyone that would come against their traditions. Why? Because what they had said was a true as truth could be, and they were guilt and full of sin, and each of those religious leaders knew it. Each of the healing miracles that were done in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God was taking away their own side show.
Is there some part of your churches doctrine, or tradition that you would put over what the Word of God teaches? Have you even lied to yourself, rather then face the fact that what you were taught goes against what God's Word teaches? Just how far do you see some go to protect that "rapture theory", or say some teaching on "tongues", or any doctrine that goes against God's Holy Word?)
34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel,
(The grandson of the famous Hillel.)
a doctor of the law,
(= a teacher of God's Word. See Luke 5:17.)
had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
(The Pharisee teach life after death. Gamaliel was a doctor of the law, and he knew the word completely. This wise man that knew God's Word told this Sanhedrin to remove Peter and John and the Apostles that were with them from the room so then could discuss this without their presence. Gamaliel had something to say, and it was important that they listen.
We will see later in this book that this Gamaliel was the teacher of the Apostle Paul. Acts 22:3; "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught acording to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."
Paul studied under this man, and it was for this reason that Paul knew the law to the letter, because Paul was a student of Gamaliel, the doctor that is addressing the Sanhedrin here.)
35 And said unto them, "Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody;
(Super-preacher, fake. The name is not uncommon in the Talmud. Form of Judas, but not the one who betrayed Yahshua.)
to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee
(His revolt is recorded by Josephus, Ant.xviii.1.ß 1)
in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished;
(Gr. apollumi. Used of the doom of the sinner. One of the strongest words in the Greek language to express final and irretrievable destruction.)
and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
(This Judas was a high preacher also, who saw special visions, and heard voices talking to him. He convinced many people to believe him. It wasn't long until he also perished, and disappeared for the mind of the people. Those that looked to this man, instead of God, dispersed and scattered, like a flock of sheep without a leader. They looked to the wrong shepherd.)
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
(= overthrown. Gr. kataluŰ.
Gamaliel is telling the Sanhedrin to leave these men alone, and time will tell if they are from God, or what they say is of the work of men. All of these miracles and healings that draw these thousands of people, if it is of men, it's going to fall on it's face just like the works of Theudas, and Judas of Galilee that scattered their flocks. Man's work will always come to an end.)
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."
(Gr. Theomachos. It [i.e. the Word of God] is proved right by those who study.
No one has overthrown it to this day, and many have tried. You have the ACLU, and many other groups that have tried to overthrow that that is of God, and these ungodly people are focused to put down the things of God, but God has His elect that know His Word, are the Holy Spirit to lead them, and know these heathen for what their lies and deceptions are.
These groups are a type of this Sanhedren that is sitting in judgment of Peter and John, and what Gamaliel said applies to those groups today, just as much as to the Sanhedrin judging Peter. Gamaleil was a very intelligent man, for truer words could not have been spoken. If it is of God, no man can stop it, and if it is of man, leave it alone and it will burn out. Gamaliel said this because the multitude out side the door, believed on these sent forth ones. The majority heard the truth as it was taught and believed it.)
40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
(With in that suffering comes power and strength. When you suffer for a cause then there has been a price that has been paid and a real value put upon it. This is God's Word in action.)
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach
(Gr. euangelizŰ = to announce a joyful message.)
(Yahshua the Messiah, i.e. the name of, v.41. They never stopped, even to this day.
Were they afraid of the old chief priests, and religious leaders? Absolutely not. This multitude that stood out side the Sanhedrin, focused on the trial, and watching the beating that Peter and the apostles took, rejoiced and desired to also suffer punishment for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ. Friend, when that name of Jesus comes up, what is your reaction, do you run and hide? These Christians of the first church did just the opposite, they charged forward, infiltrating the temple daily, and meeting in their houses. Christianity became a reality to them, and not a religion to be practiced in form.
Even to this day, God's Word is taught openly, and freely to the peoples of this world. There are many ways that Satan tries to pervert God's Word and unfortunately he does it through organizations that claim to be Christians, and they are far from what God's Word teaches. Satan would like to stop the truth from going forth, but those that have eyes to see and ears to hear God's Word, will see and understand, and others will never know.)